Tuesday, October 01, 2013
In simple words for those that seem to not understand why this will affect all of America, with this Government shut down. Scary? Not really after all it affects Federal Employee’s, which there’s way too many ruling American’s lives. But, then again those that do assist elderly also become affected. But, let’s see what really will happen if this does go over time. Which would be very interesting since so many strikes are planned against this government this month. Will they happen? Truckers stop for three to five days making delivery’s? If so, then store shelves will become a bit bare even at Walmart. But, let’s start with just a day or two and go from there.
Every year, Congress has to approve laws, known as appropriations, that provide money for federal agencies. The new budget year begins on Oct. 1, and Congress has failed to pass a single one of the appropriations. An effort to pass a stop-gap bill to provide temporary money has stalled in Congress: Republicans have insisted they will not approve the stop-gap measure unless Democrats agree to block money for President Obama’s healthcare law, and Democrats have refused to do that. Under federal law, if an agency does not have an appropriation law in force, it can’t spend money, so it has to close.
Social Security, Medicare and other so-called entitlements, continue without interruption. The second group entails functions “necessary to protect life or property.” Law enforcement, the military, intelligence agencies and foreign embassies all will stay open. Finally, some programs have other sources of money that will allow them to function for a while. Courts, for example, can spend money they have collected through fines and fees, funds that would allow them to keep functioning for a while. Note for awhile. If over a week, then I will post what is next to come.
The national parks, federally owned museums, such as the Smithsonian, offices overseas that give visas to foreigners hoping to visit the United States, many federal regulatory agencies, IRS call centers that provide assistance to taxpayers and most offices that handle federal grants and contracts will all close. Really not much to be concerned about from this day and a few days later. After all the government is blowing more than it should on these programs anyway.
At least 800,000 federal civilian workers will be furloughed. They will not be paid during the shutdown. A lot of Federal workers, are they really needed. Yes and No, not that many for one. Maybe half if even that. But, we will see as the federal government wants people control and they need people to control others for monies.
If the duration is only a few days, the economic impact will be small. But the impact builds with time. The tourism industry will be among the first hit because of the closure of parks and the inability of foreign tourists to get visas.
Both Republicans and Democrats will be watching to see which side gets blamed for the impasse. Whichever side is losing the battle for public opinion will eventually decide the price has gotten too high and will offer concessions. In the Clinton administration, there were two government shutdowns. One lasted five days, the other, which affected only part of the government, went on for three weeks. So, as I said were just going to hear a lot of who is to blame. This time the Republican’s will be blamed and there really trying to hold the Black House to stop spending. With no luck what so ever. It will be fun to watch.
Notice that social security is not spoken of by this Black Dictator in any speech as he was close to being kicked out of office for threatening the elderly last time. Think about, and faxes letters calls to the Black house do work!
Someone claimed that both sides are to blame. Sorry, no!
If you don’t want to pay for something, you defeat the bill before it is approved. Once approved, you can either repeal it cleanly or just live with it. Sadly, House Republicans voted 41 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act but could not get that past the Senate. Stupidity is repeating the same thing 42 times and expecting a different outcome.
Now, I have followed a story for sometime on a teacher that was accused of stealing from the school. Really a teacher. When you read the headlines of course you say burn her at the stake and so on. But, this is why I want to remind you exactly what the real truth is. Are you ready? Great then read on.
Almost immediately, though I got an inkling that something was amiss. An art teacher in Upper Dublin, the suburban town where we had bought a house, had just been arrested, charged with theft of $400 in school art supplies. Of course, my initial reaction was, “Great school district we’re in, if the teachers are stealing from the school!”
The teacher, Lou Ann Merkel, who had been arrested and briefly jailed pending arraignment, was fired and was facing trial on a felony charge of stealing public property. But in a few weeks, as I followed the story in the local weekly paper, it became clear that there had really been no theft (she was taking old supplies which were being replaced with new ones, intending to bring them to a local community center used by low-income children who went there for day care and after-school care. Moreover, when stopped by the principal and told that the old supplies had to be put in the dumpster, she grudgingly complied. She was arrested anyway later, at her home). I learned over subsequent weeks of news reports that Merkel actually was being hounded by an obsessive power-tripping school administration simply for being an “activist” and outspoken teacher. A school board hearing I attended was packed in December of that year with over a hundred angry parents and former students of Merkel’s demanding that the board drop its case against her. It did not, but a county judge had the good sense to do exactly that, ruling that “no crime occurred here.” (Merkel, who got her job back with back pay, later sued the school district and won a significant judgement against it.)
This was one small example of government tyranny run amok but since then I have seen it become the norm in a United States where people are now being arrested for almost everything — kids jailed without trial for shoplifting, hitchhikers jailed for arguing, correctly, with cops that it is not illegal for them to thumb for a ride, non-white youths in many cities stopped and frisked for “walking while black or hispanic” and then getting busted on trumped up charges (resisting arrest, assaulting an officer, disturbing the peace, etc.) when the cops find no guns or drugs on them, protesters beaten and gassed and jailed for simply trying to exercise their First Amendment rights.
But that is just the surface. it’s happening here in the US, only worse. Not only is the National Security Agency monitoring every phone call I make, every email I sent, every person I interview and every article I write. but the agency can be watching what I write at this moment, as a type these letters on my keyboard.
How do I know they’re watching me? Well, of course I can’t know for certain, because they won’t tell me on the grounds of “national security,” which has rendered the Freedom of Information Act moribund. But courageous leakers from within the NSA, most notably Edward Snowden, have released documentary evidence proving that the super-secretive spy agency has been monitoring all communications between Americans and foreign contacts, most notably with countries like Russia or Iran or other nations which the US views as “enemies.”
Make no mistake. What happened to Lou Ann Merkel was an example of a police state at work. A courageous woman who dared to speak out against subtle and sometimes not so subtle racism in the school where she worked, and someone who dares to speak her mind on any topic, was threatened with jail by a school superintendent who felt he had absolute power and who in fact had the power to have her arrested on his say so on trumped-up charges.
Today we are all Lou Ann Merkel. Step out of line or stand on principle and we lose jobs, face arrest, and become the targets of the NSA’s spy machine. In the US, most Americans remain blissfully unaware of how their freedoms have been stolen or surrendered. While they may say they don’t trust the government and don’t believe the news, they actually do to a remarkable extent. That’s the only explanation for society allowing — even encouraging — the government to continue to execute people based on a findings of a court system that is clearly corrupt to the core. It’s the only reason so many people say they support government spying to keep us “safe from terrorism.” It’s the only reason local communities, like mine. keep voting more money for small armies of police officers equipped with M-16s and SWAT gear in places that violent crime is almost unheard of.
Americans can still wake up. We seem to have done that in the latest attempt by the war-mongers in Washington to launch yet another bloody war in the Middle East. But there is still far too much sleep-walking going on.
Benjamin Franklin once famously said: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
We Americans have been surrendering our liberty since the dawn of the national security state in 1947. The process accelerated with President Nixon’s “war” on crime and especially his “war” on drugs, which militarized police. Things grew worse under subsequent presidents, including President Reagan, who accelerated the “Drug War,
and President Clinton, who gutted habeas corpus. Presidents George W. Bush and current President Obama have stolen more freedom from Americans than any leaders in the country’s history, with the acquiescence of most citizens.
Clearly we are not safer now. And as Franklin warned so presciently, when it comes to our liberties, we are now in danger of losing it all.
Just maybe this will wake up the rest of America, before it’s too late. Just maybe, but I don’t have that much faith yet. But, what does an old man know anyways.